Security & Fraud

New Malware Strain Records PCs’ Audio

Researchers have discovered a new form of malware that records audio of computers that are infected by turning on the PC’s microphone.

According to a report by Forbes, CyberX, a security company focused on the Internet of Things market, has dubbed the new malware Operation BugDrop. CyberX said the malware has stolen hundreds of gigabytes of data. The report noted that at least 70 entities, which range from civil engineering companies to human rights organizations to newspapers, have fallen victim.

Most of the attacks have been targeting companies in the Ukraine, but they’re also spreading to Austria, Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to the report. Given the fact that malware is stealing tons of data each day, CyberX believes whoever is behind BugDrop has access to many resources. What’s more, the data needed to be decrypted before the hackers could analyze it. CyberX said it’s hard to know who to attribute the attacks to but did say it is leaning toward the bad guys needing nation-state-level resources for an operation of this scale. The report noted that computers are being infected with BugDrop via phishing emails, just like most other strains of malware.

While BugDrop ushers in a new era for malware, using the old tried-and-true strains is still big business for the bad guys. According to its second-quarter Global Security Report, AppRiver recorded 4.2 billion malicious emails and 3.35 billion spam emails between April 1, 2016, and June 30, 2016. Meanwhile, there were 43 million unique web-borne threats daily throughout the second quarter.

“While spam email traffic is leveling off, email traffic has never been more dangerous. What used to be a constant stream of messages touting fake Rolex watches, male enhancement pills and pornography has now become a 24/7 deluge of ransomware, spyware, phishing and other malware,” AppRiver said.

While malware has been around for quite some time, AppRiver found that levels are consistently doubling every quarter, with the company recording an uncharacteristically busy April and a record-breaking May.

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